Friday, September 25, 2009

we better keep an eye on this one.

Right now, it’s the little moments that matter.

Like when the cats scrambled passed me after hearing the clank…. clank. “OHH MAN.” clank. (silence) wooooooshhhhh. clankclankclankclankclankclank as the twenty-four pack of Dr. Pepper fell off the shelf and slammed into the tile, flooding the pantry in a sea of carbonation. Like when we (C2 and I) then spent a good fifteen minutes on our knees laughing and mopping as another can exploded and sprayed sticky liquid in our hair. Like when he asked if he’d get in trouble because of the accident. Asked if that sort of thing had ever happened to me before. Asked if I could relate.

Or yesterday, when C2 started cracking up as acorns rained down from the tree I read beneath, giggling as I dodged the pellets that flew toward my head at angles which could only have come from a family of vindictive squirrels spread out all over the branches to take their shots. And when he covered his head and explained how “A squirrel attacked me one time. It hurt… He scratched my arm and stuff. Like this.” Like that. My forearm may forever be scarred. But he wanted me to understand so, as inspired by an angry rodent, he dug his nails into my skin and let me feel it too.

We spend more and more time together, and his stories burst out. I’m supposed to catch each one and toss it back. He watches my throw, watches to see if I can get it back to him on target. If I’m paying attention. If I understand. The everyday stories have become the deciding move: if he makes the pitch, and I let it fly by because it’s "trivial" and "unimportant", I’m out of the game.

Because the little moments determine whether or not he’ll ask later about a problem that's "meaningful", that matters even to people older than eight. These day-to-day, ordinary situations determine whether or not my young friend will hurl a heavier topic my way with the confidence that I’ll be there to snag it. That I’ll be on the other end to hold on to what he throws until he wants it back.

Most likely I will have never played the position he asks for, but generally all that's needed is someone in the outfield, someone to keep him from playing alone. That's what matters.

“GOD, …I'm an open book to You; even from a distance, You know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of Your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and You're there, then up ahead and You're there, too — Your reassuring presence, coming and going. You know me inside and out….” (Psalm 139)


Abby Fields said...

I love your Nanny Diaries! Keep it up! :-)

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